Posted by: Brian | March 30, 2009

Welcome to the New “Old Dirt” Blog

Greetings everyone! I am returning to blogging after a long hiatus. I’m excited to be back and looking forward to some changes in the blog (notice the new header photograph – it’s Aniakchak Lagoon as viewed from the hill behind our field camp). The biggest change is that I’ve switched my blog service from Edublogs to WordPress. Both offer free blogs, but I was unhappy that Edublogs had inserted advertisement into the text of my old blog. The switch to WordPress has been pretty easy. Edublogs uses the WordPress platform, so everything seems familiar. I’m still early in the game, though, and am interested to hear opinions on free blogs – anyone like Google’s “Blogger”? I’m also interested in advice or hints on how to jazz up this site. I’ll get to the links soon, but what about widgets or other options at WordPress? Suggestions will be welcome since you can save me the time of figuring things out on my own.

I’m not a tech savy blogger. I just like the ability to quickly post on the archaeology that’s happening here at Hamline. Right now we’re busy in the lab cataloging – trying to finish the 2005 field season. I’m looking for a few new volunteers to help sort the midden samples from 2007. It’s fun stuff.


  1. Brian, welcome back! I have missed your blog. I can’t wait for a post on prehistoric houses.

    Anyway, my wife and I have a blog on ‘blogger’ and it seems pretty good. Sometimes it seems to take a while to post pictures. But like you I am not very blog tech savy. It seems what you got here is fine so I’d stick with it.

    Also on your old blog I had intended to comment on the post you did on Aniakshak art and ties to the Kachemak of Kodiak, but now i can’t remember what i was going to say. But I do think much of what you showed looked very similiar to what we find in late Kachemak sites. Also – I do think you can learn spiritual meaning in art if you are very lucky. For instance, on Kodiak we found a painted box panel that fitted perfectly with the mythology related to the Alutiiq ‘Supreme being’.


  2. Thanks Patrick for your comment. I read your blog. I especially enjoy your writings about your wilderness travels. You live in the perfect part of the world for the things you like doing.

    I agree that the Aniakchak art looks a lot like late Kachemak. I also think that both Aniakchak and Kachemak are similar to what we see in the Aleutian Islands from this time period. Speaking specifically about the ivory/bone carvings, there seems to be a widespread tradition of carving faces and miniature masks, human figurines, and animals – especially whales – and whale imagery. We have a beautiful ivory whale from Aniakchak that I’ll be posting on soon.

  3. We found a lot of ‘whale’ art at the Uyak site too. In addition to the stuff illustrated in Heizer, in 1987-88 we find whaletail nose pins and some cool whale tail pendants.

    One of the coolest whale pieces I’ve ever seen is one that totally confused me at first. It looked really weird until I realized it was a whale floating upside down and that you could not see the portion that was supposed to be under water. It is a hat ornament, and I suddenly realized it probably was a talisman for a whale hunter’s hat and depicted a DEAD whale floating on its back. The ultimate outcome for a poison dart whaler!

  4. Thanks for starting up again Brian. I use blogger and wordpress (2 different sites) and wordpress is far better in my opinion – easy to use, customizable and wordpress blogs usually look better than blogger ones!

    Look forward to reading more of your posts!

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